Deuter Speed Lite 10 Backpack £34.99
Deuter have been making bags for a long time, 109 years to be exact. It all started by making bags for the German post service and now they make bags for a multitude of sports so you should be able to find the right bag for you.
The Speed Lite is their answer to an uber lightweight backpack range and consists of four sizes in this range. They start at the 10 litre and go up to a 30-litre pack. The claimed weight of the bag is 300g and mine actually weighed in at 356g, which is around 18% heavier than claimed. But even at this weight it is still a very light backpack.
For a bag of its size it is full of useful and not gimmicky features. The bag has one main central compartment, a smaller one for your keys and essentials and finally two mesh side pockets complete the storage list. You can also use a hydration system with this bag, although none is provided.
The simple addition of the 3D mesh foam straps either side of the spine does a good job of both offering some comfort and also providing an air channel to alleviate some moisture problems normally associated with backpacks. I really like the fact that this little bag has both a chest and waist straps much in the same way as its bigger brothers. One thing missing from the features list was the rear LED light loop that is present on many of their other bags. For extra couple of grams that it would add in weight would be well worth it from a commuting point of view. Maybe this is an oversight as this pack was not originally aimed at the commuter and its design focus was steered towards more non-bike related sports. To further boost the safety aspects of this bag I would happily trade the orange piping for some scotchlite to boost the reflectivity of the bag, even if it resulting in the bag being a little more expensive.
The bag has a lightweight internal frame, which you can remove. Why you may ask why and the answer is two fold. One in doing so this enables you to roll the bag up, and secondly for the truly weight obsessed in will save that little bit extra. While we are talking about removing things it is worth noting that both the chest and waist straps are removable; this may be welcome in some sports but for cycling there is nothing more annoying than a bag swinging around. (Okay I think maybe a squeaking or creaking bike tops the annoying list).
The Hexlite Microrip Nylon fabric proved to be both very robust and able to shrug off showers. I doubt it would cope with a rainstorm, and as it is missing a rain cover it might pay to stuff a carrier bag inside for those moments. The grey, black and orange combo of colours should mean that it is a hit with even the most fashion conscious out there.
Sometimes the most simple of ideas prove to be pure genius and that’s what I think about the finger loops on the end of the zippers. This makes access to either the small pocket or main compartment an absolute breeze. This has been particularly welcome while using long fingered gloves. Inside the small pocket there is a key attachment, which eliminates the lucky dip approach to finding you keys.
I love the feeling when you are out for a ride and have no bag; you just seem to feel a lot freer to move about. Using this bag is about the closest I have been able to get to it while still managing to cram the daily essentials for work. I have easily managed to get my seatpack, change of clothes, and two sets of keys, mobile phone, and wallet and on the odd occasion my lunch. I think they have got the name wrong on this bag and it should be called the Tardis! This pack would make a great choice for the Lightweight Commuter and could double up as a good race bag.